Honorary Degree Recipients 2017


Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient

Paul A. Sarlo
Deputy Majority Leader, New Jersey State Senate
Democrat of District 36


Paul A. Sarlo is Deputy Majority Leader of the New Jersey Senate. He serves as chairman of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, and is a member of the Judiciary Committee, the Higher Education Committee, the Joint Budget Oversight Committee, and the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee. He is a former chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Labor Committee.

As a legislator, Mr. Sarlo has been the prime sponsor of more than 200 bills which have been signed into law. He was a prime sponsor of legislation which reformed New Jersey’s worker’s compensation system, established the “Main Street Business Assistance Program,” criminalized the illegal trafficking and distribution of prescription drugs, required schools to adopt bullying prevention policies, and upgraded penalties for identity theft. He also sponsored laws dealing with ethics reforms, energy efficiency, environmental protection, homeland security, and consumer protection.

His career in public service spans more than two decades.  He has served as mayor of the Borough of Wood-Ridge since 2000 and served on its Borough Council from 1995-2000. In 2001, he was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly, a position he held until May 2003 when he was sworn in to the New Jersey Senate to fill an unexpired term. He was elected to a full term in the New Jersey Senate in November 2003 and was re-elected in 2007, 2011, and 2013. Sarlo represents the 36th legislative district, which includes 15 municipalities in Bergen and Passaic counties. 

A licensed professional engineer, licensed professional planner, and a certified municipal engineer, Mr. Sarlo holds bachelor of science and master of science degrees in civil engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he was a Division III All-American in baseball. He and his wife, Concetta, have two sons.


Honorary Degree Recipient

Maureen Conway ‘66
Retired Vice President, Emerging Market Solutions Group, Hewlett-Packard Company


Maureen Conway is a retired senior executive at Hewlett-Packard Company (HP). She held various executive positions at Hewlett-Packard Company from 1989 until her retirement in 2005. Most recently, she was responsible for HP’s Emerging Market Solutions Group, pioneering a new approach that applied technology and business model innovation to the social and economic needs of developing economies. Her work received many awards in India and the Republic of South Africa. In 2005, the approach, results, and impact were described in Thomas L. Friedman’s bestselling book on globalization, The World is Flat.

Earlier, Ms. Conway served as vice president and chief information officer for HP; she received the Solomon Smith Barney CIO of the Year Award in 2002.  Prior to joining HP in 1989, she spent 20 years in technical management positions at Bell Laboratories, Computer Corporation of America and Apollo Computer. She began her career as a high school mathematics teacher at Palisades Park Junior/Senior High School.  

A native of North Bergen, she is a 1966 graduate of William Paterson University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.  She holds a master of science degree in mathematics from Montclair State University and a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in management and organizational behavior from Temple University. 

Ms. Conway served as a member of the William Paterson University Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2016, including a term as vice chair. She is a past member of the William Paterson University Foundation Board, on which she served from 2006 to 2011. In 2006, she established an endowed scholarship to support a student in the College of Science and Health. She also was instrumental in the development of the University’s Pioneer Leadership Institute, which helps students develop critical leadership skills.

Honored in 2003 by the William Paterson Alumni Association, which presented her with the Distinguished Alumni Award, Ms. Conway received the President’s Medal and delivered the commencement address in 2006.